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Pogroms in cities after the night of anarchists

07 December 2014 / 21:12:42  GRReporter
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Athens and other big Greek cities woke up in ravages after the protests marking the anniversary of Alexis Grigoropoulos’ murder. Police have apprehended 211 people in the capital alone. The clashes wreaked havoc on shops and kiosks in the city centre.

Athens’ deputy mayor Giorgos Apostolopoulos’ remarks on Skai TV are quite telling: "The situation in the centre is reminiscent of 2008, with the stunning devastation at Exarcheia Square, Omonia Square and Panepistimiou St."

Apostolopoulos asked the police to intervene because he believed gangsters should not be allowed to shatter the city's landscape and image.

"The commercial activities across the country have been systematically abused by rallies, protests and destruction," emphasised in turn member of the Athens commercial chamber Giorgos Floras.

Violent scenes began around 8 pm after the commemoration pageant. Unknown persons battered shops, traffic lights and street kiosks in Panepistimiou St., and set cars on fire in Emmanouil Benaki St. They did not hesitate to assault the Catholic Church, St. Dionysius, either.

The city centre sustained a suffocating atmosphere for quite a while because of the Molotov cocktails and stun grenades, the former used by the anarchists and the latter – by the police.

For the first time in years, police used water cannons against demonstrators in Omonia Square and Stournari St. Overnight clashes were limited to Exarcheia and Stournari and Tositsa streets where barricades were erected.

The rallies commemorating Alexis Grigoropoulos were followed by clashes in other cities as well: Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Chania, Heraklion, Kalamata, etc.

On Saturday evening, unknown individuals clashed with police in front of the Workers' Centre in Thessaloniki. Police used stun and chemical grenades to repel them.

The police has rounded up 35 people, with 17 of them (aged between 18 and 25) staying in custody and reported to the prosecutor's office. There are three women among the arrested and one foreigner who will be stripped of his residence permit. According to police, the indictments are based on violation of public order, an attempt to free a prisoner, unprovoked bodily harm, infringement of weapons provisions, resisting and insulting authorities, etc.

There were clashes in Veria, too, where eleven people were arrested. In Volos after the rally, protesters erected barricades, and hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police.

In Patras police arrested five for using molotov cocktails. One policeman was injured, and charges have been made for injuring a protester as well.

Three individuals – a 36-, a 28- and a 21-year-old – have been brought  before the first instance court of Agrinio after having been arrested during the clashes. Reportedly, they will be indicted for breach of public order, inflicting damage, insulting authorities and causing bodily harm. Police are searching for a 29-year-old man, who also took part in the clashes.

Meanwhile it transpired that on Monday, at 11 pm, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will receive Nikos Romanos’ parents. The meeting was requested by the latter.

Nikos Romanos himself is in G. Gennimatas Hospital because of his hunger strike. The reason for the strike is that the authorities had rejected his demand for educational leave. He expressed his disagreement with his parents meeting the Prime Minister. His lawyer Fragiskos Ragousis relayed his statement to the hospital. This is what the statement says, among other things: "I solemnly declare that my parents’ request for a meeting with Samaras is something I am adamantly against. I understand their agony because they stand to lose their child. Yet Samaras is fully abreast of developments, hence no meeting is necessary to inform him of something he is already aware of."



Tags: clashes police anarchists damages arrests Nikos Romanos meeting Antonis Samaras
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